When I first heard Grand Champeen, my first impression is they sounded like Soul Asylum used to sound. Their sound had the urgency and intensity of early Soul Asylum albums and shows and their recorded input thus far has revealed they can also write some great rock songs. They sound like a continuation of Soul Asylum, circa, And The Horse They Rode On, as if they never recorded Grave Dancers Union. Don't get me wrong, Soul Asylum is still one of favourite bands from the 80's, but unfortunately with huge mainstream success comes mediocre songs that seem to have taken the edge off the band. I saw Soul Asylum live around the time when the success of Grave Dancers broke (1993) and they were just starting to get some commercial radio play and then saw them again in the 2002 in Fargo (for $15), well after they were chewed up and spit out by the mainstream. One thing I can say about the band is that you have to see them live, to fully appreciate them. Back in the late 80's they were heralded as one of the hardest working bands live and it still rang true when I saw them. I love all their albums pre-Grave Dancers and I have piles of concert recordings from all periods of their career that I still covet. In the 80's, they were probably most comparable to the Replacements for their live shows filled with cool covers and their spontaneous drunken performances.
In 2006, Grand Champeen took on the challenge to perform the Soul Asylum songbook in front of a Minneapolis crowd (SA's hometown) for a Benefit for the Karl Mueller foundation. The results were amazing, they sounded so much like Soul Asylum if you weren't a hardcore fan (or a collector of their live shows), you might think it's actually them! For the hometown crowd, they were treated to a setlist restricted only to their earlier material up to, And the Horse They Rode On and as a bonus to close the show they played the awesome, James At 16 medley, song by song, a SA live classic. This unique show is a must listen for Soul Asylum fans that miss the old songs and also it's a pleasure to hear a talented band like Grand Champeen having the time of their lives paying tribute to a band that has influenced and inspired their own music! Enjoy!!
01. All the Kings 02. Tied to the Tracks 03. Closer to the Stars 04. Easy Street 05. Crashing Down 06. Marionette 07. Can't Go Back 08. Sometime to Return 09. Chains 10. Broken Glass 11. Sun Don't Shine 12. Stranger 13. Long Way Home 14. Spinnin' 15. Never Really Been 16. Standing in the Doorway 17. Nowhere to Go 18. Made to be Broken 19. Freaks 20. Be On Your Way 21. Cartoon* 22. Heavy Rotation 23. medley 1 24. medley 2
Guitar/Vocals: Channing Lewis Guitar/Vocals: Michael Crow Bass: Alex Livingston Drums: Ned Stewart